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Park City Leads 3A Golf Tourney

By Kyle Goon
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published: October 6, 2011 12:23AMUpdated: October 5, 2011 10:19PM
American Fork • It’s not altogether surprising to find Park City at the top of the Class 3A boys’ golf state tournament standings. The program has won the team title the past three years.
But the Miners will have to stave off their fiercest region foes, Wasatch, Juan Diego and Uintah, in their quest for a fourth straight title Thursday. The end of a wet and windy first day at Fox Hollow finds the Wasps one stroke behind Park City, and the Soaring Eagle only trailing by two — barely a lead at all.
With the Miners’ Justin Shluker and Juan Diego’s Nick Smart tied at the top of the individual standings, along with Uintah’s Brady Davis, the tournament is shaping up to have quite a Region 10 flavor.
The Miners appeared to be the early favorite once again, as Shluker, who finished third overall last year, shot an eyebrow-raising 72. Despite storm clouds and rain sweeping as his group started the back nine, Shluker held on strong and birdied on 18 to reach an even par.
He was the only competitor to get in the 70s for the Miners, and the junior couldn’t have been more excited just to make par.
“That’s one of the best rounds of golf I’ve ever played,” Shluker said. “The wind was howling, and the last nine were pretty hard. But I knew that would be a pretty good score.”
It would be, in fact, the best score of the day, but competitors who started later and played through more rain would go on to match it. Smart led Juan Diego with par, and so did Davis of Uintah. Wasatch was led by Jake Wagstaff, who shot a 74.
The Soaring Eagle golfers actually had the best team performance of any squad, but Chris Lake, who shot an 80, was disqualified after signing an incorrect score card. Although Lake will be allowed to compete Thursday, his Day 1 score was invalidated, costing Juan Diego a chance at a 10-stroke lead headed into Thursday.
Coach Mitch Schow didn’t displace responsibility, saying it was an easily avoidable mistake. He acknowledged the going would only be tougher Thursday, when the weather is supposed to be just as brutal.
“It’s not that we’re overachieving, it’s just about getting the right four guys together on the same day,” he said. “Park City has been pretty dominant in our region, so we’ll have to be consistent.”
The four Region 10 teams at the top are not the only ones in the chase. Desert Hills, Payson and Spanish Fork are all within fewer than 10 strokes of Park City’s overall lead, and are still in the hunt for the championship.
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Class 3A golf state tournament standings after Day 1
Individual standings
• Justin Shluker, Park City (72)
• Nick Smart, Juan Diego (72)
• Brady Davis, Uintah (72)
• Jake Wagstaff, Wasatch (74)
• TJ Ricks, Payson (75)
• Victor Johnson, Juan Diego (75)
Team Standings
• Park City (316)
• Wasatch (317)
• Juan Diego (318)
• Uintah (320)
• Desert Hills (323)